The more you think about this movie, the more any meaning it might have slips away from you. It’s so…empty, like the shell of a movie they forgot to add anything to. I’ve got no idea who it was made for, or why; it’s not crazy like a lot of Uwe Boll’s other films, and his sense of humour really struggles to come through. For a fantasy movie, a good third of it is set in present-day Sofia, Bulgaria (the home of choice for low-budget US filmmaking for a good 15 years), too.
Dominic Purcell, stoic co-star of “Prison Break”, doesn’t exactly stretch his range by playing an emotionless assassin. Given the job of kidnapping a couple of children (their father is a politician or something) he does so, because he’s a badass, but then finds one of them wearing a medallion that matches a tattoo he has on his arm. BOOM! Just like part 2, he’s through a portal and into…medieval Bulgaria! But luckily, a version of Bulgaria with magic and dragons and so on. He meets two beautiful sisters who are also super-fighters and gets sucked into a rebellion against the evil Prince or King or whatever, who has the replacement medallion he’ll need to get home.
In case you were wondering, none of this is remotely related to the events of the first two movies (which did have some continuity, after a fashion). Although the computer game that started this franchise is a distant memory, thinking of this movie like it’s a game is the only way to wrestle any meaning from it. Purcell keeps his future-clothes on the entire time he’s in the past, he cruises through both “levels” of the movie almost entirely unhurt, learns new weapon skills quickly and finds himself a beautiful “girlfriend”. It would have been game-normal if he’d got some artefact in the past which helped him in the present, but all he got was a supportive speech.
There’s two funny bits, which makes me sad that the person who thought of those didn’t have more control over the entire thing. With the same snappy editing that was used to illustrate Dominic’s kills, he makes himself a cup of coffee in the hotel room of the man he just assassinated (it plays funnier than it sounds); and later on in the movie, in the middle of a ton of flowery medieval speeches, the evil King says to our hero “You’ve come to kill me”, to which Dominic, not missing a beat and not changing his expression one bit, replies “Yup”. Little touches that deserve a better movie around them.
I was ready to kill the camera operator by the end, though. I’m never normally bothered by shaky-cam, but it honestly felt like they were trying to make me sick. If you suffer at all, then just close your eyes until the sound of metal on metal stops (you won’t miss anything). Luckily, he stopped wobbling long enough to show the castle where the final battle takes place, and I’d bet £££ it’s the same castle used in one of the later “Deathstalker” movies. That’s the sort of analysis you can only expect from the ISCFC!!
Poor Dominic Purcell, he at least sort of tries. A bit. Every single other member of the cast is Eastern European, and the accents are pretty thick – to be fair, their English is better than my Bulgarian – which adds another annoying layer to it all. Even if you can make it through all that (and I enjoyed parts 1 and 2, sort of), there’s still that overwhelming sense of “why on earth was this made?” I was really surprised at how little I hated the Uwe Boll movies I’d seen in our recent series on him, but this one broke the trend, and hard.
For a film that’s one third modern Eastern European action thriller, two thirds medieval wander-through-the-woods adventure, it’s…even worse than that sounds. I suppose, to a smart film fan reading this, the first thing that’ll spring to mind is “Army of Darkness”, but aside from being vastly superior in every single way to this, that spends a great deal less time in the “present”. And it linked the two eras, whereas this just doesn’t bother. If you’re desperate to watch an accidental time-travel action adventure, definitely watch that instead.
Rating: thumbs down